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The Exchange

N.H. Veterans And Post Traumatic Stress

Paul W Hayes
Flickr Creative Commons

After more than a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are coming home.  For many, it’s a wonderful time, to return to family and a normal life. But for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, the transition is a rough road.   In New Hampshire, more a quarter who fought in these wars say they’ve struggled with PTSD, and a fifth with some kind of brain injury. And these numbers reflect only those who report their problem: research shows one of the biggest barriers for veterans seeking treatment is getting them to admit they need help.   A new report outlines what more the Granite State could do to get vets over this hurdle and many others - from untangling bureaucratic mazes, to educating health providers about veterans’ issues.


  • Paul Loiselle –  Colonel, and deputy chief of the Joint Staff at the New Hampshire National Guard. He oversees the Deployment Support Cycle Program (DSCP), which provides services to military members and their families before, during and after deployments.
  • Donna Primera - in charge of mental health services at the Manchester Veterans Administration Medical Center.
  • Nicole Sawyer – psychologist who treats trauma victims, including veterans.  She served on the N.H. Commission on PTSD and TBI, which recently issued a report on the state of services for veterans suffering from these conditions.
  • Nick Tolentino - combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served in the Navy for 14 years. He also served on the N.H. Commission on PTSD and TBI.


  • William Busby - clinical psychologist and regional manager of Northeast Region Veteran Centers, a network of 41 centers in several states offering services to combat veterans. Busby is a veteran of the Vietnam War.


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